Mono mania

Mono mania

Mono mania

First published in Lifestyle

The black and white obsession continues for another season. Lisa Haynes seeks out the chicest monochrome must-haves.

If you're not quite ready to leap onto spring's key trends, go back to black and white basics instead.

Appearing on the catwalks over consecutive seasons, monochrome is no longer a 'trend' but a staple, like trench coats or skinny jeans.

Gone is the retro play on the Sixties vibe, making way for a fresh, modern silhouette.

From off-duty casual to couture-like glamour, monochrome's versatility makes it a major player in your wardrobe for summer or winter season.

If in doubt, work black and white and nothing else.

Check mate

With such a clean colour palette, you can afford to be more daring with your prints. Opt for a bold grid block look with BHS' monochrome Check Woven Insert Top, £20 (www.bhs.co.uk).

Mono twist

Add an injection of flouncy fun to officewear with a monochrome contrast. Proving pencils don't have to be kept on the straight and narrow, look to Iris & Ink's Maribel Ruffled Crepe Skirt, £90 (www.theoutnet.com).

Print play

Working strictly with black and white makes layering simple. Clash together similar prints for a statement look, like Boohoo's Isla Dogtooth Cardigan, £18, and Amelia Geometric Top, £14 (www.boohoo.com).

Dress duo

Look out LBD, the LMD (Little Monochrome Dress) is just as chic. Pare a print down with deep black trims, expertly executed on Damsel in a Dress's Hanami Print Dress, £149 (www.damselinadress.co.uk).

Opposites attract

The easiest way to make an impact is by teaming a black separate with a white separate for a yin and yang effect. Try Matalan's monochrome double act Black Grid Top, £12, and White Skirt, £12, available March (www.matalan.co.uk).

Panel parade

If you're dedicated to the monochrome cause, a coat is the way to demonstrate your commitment. Flatter hips, thighs and bottom instantly with the black panel on True Decadence at Dorothy Perkins' Monochrome Jacket, £50 (www.dorothyperkins.com).

Dolly days

Monochrome instantly looks playful in black and white Dalmatian-style spots. Step out in pedigree footwear with Topshop's Matter Monochrome Dolly Shoes, £28 (www.topshop.com).

Stripe chic

Elongate your body with a shirt featuring vertical stripes in all the right places. Embrace black and white body flattery with Pied a Terre's Stripey Shirt, £69 (House of Fraser).

Clutch control

If you're not convinced by a penguin-inspired ensemble, bag a subtle accent. Perfect for spring, grab Primark's Straw Hardshell Clutch, £8, available March (www.primark.co.uk).

White hot

Winter calls for black with white accents. Reverse the pattern for spring with white strides featuring flattering black go-faster side stripes, like Marisota's Mark Heyes Illusion Trousers, £35 (www.marisota.co.uk).

Get the look

Peaches Geldof went hell for leather at the Brit Awards in a slick skirt. Get her exact Black Leather Full Midi Skirt, £130 at River Island now (www.riverisland.com).

Buy it now

Gok Wan returns to Tu at Sainsbury's with his 11th collection. Playing on pretty pastels and feminine silhouettes, the 22-piece range is sure to be the highlight of your supermarket shop. Priced from £10, available in stores nationwide now.

Fashion flash

:: Charitable clear-out

Time to carry out a closet stocktake for spring? Jerry Hall is calling on the country to clear out wardrobes and help beat childhood cancers. The model and actress has teamed up with Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx to launch Give Up Clothes For Good. The campaign will run all year, giving people the opportunity to drop off unwanted clothing and accessories in special boxes provided in TK Maxx stores nationwide. Each bag could be worth up to £30 for Cancer Research UK. For more information visit www.tkmaxx.com

:: Vegan in vogue

Louise Redknapp helped fly the flag for compassion in fashion as guest judge of the PETA-Approved Vegan Fashion Awards. This year's winners included Stella McCartney for Most Stylish Women's Knitwear, Taeseok Kang for Most Stylish Handbag, Beyond Skin for Most Stylish Women's Flat Shoes and Miss Selfridge for Most Stylish Women's Outerwear. "Everywhere I go, from designer boutiques to the local Topshop, I see beautiful animal-free clothes, bags, shoes and wallets," says Redknapp. "All the winners and nominees prove how easy it is to dress ethically from head to toe."

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